Bone Machine [CASSETTE]
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Top Customer Reviews
Lyrically, the album is as uncomfortable as the music and production, with the first song adopting the frantic perspective of cornball 50's sci-fi with the title 'Earth Died Screaming', to subsequent tracks like Dirt in the Ground, The Ocean Doesn't Want Me, Murder in the Red Barn and I Don't Wanna Grow Up, which seem to have an unhealthy preoccupation with old age, failure, death, bereavement, murder and decay. The album switches between loud, vibrant, carnivalesque tracks with a fuller band performance and robust, theatrical vocals from Waits, and more restrained numbers, which recall the late night minimalist misery of albums like Closing Time and Small Change.Read more ›
Staying in his flat I discovered the full breadth of Tom Waits, under layers of skunk, Stella and mirth. Tom Waits and Nick Cave were favorite takes on the cock eyed world that swirled outside. This record and the ones before it, made in the 1990's whisk me back into a time capsule, of bleak cynical chimes, as the percussion shakes the chicken bones to the various pulses inhabiting a body, wrist, heart, brain and lung breath, all shifting according to their internal rhythm. A raucous growl emits from the stomach and pushes its way up through the voice box to deliver a verdict on all external appearances. We have the junked up yard of "Earth Dies Screaming," some maudlin maladies and a deep central european angst peering through the shutters of a garbage can, to clang its own version of a beat held within.
Surreal music played at 2am in a god forsaken mid western town by a bunch of heads who are ex communicated from the local church, high on Satan's weed, letting their subconscious out in a heaving, drunken frenzy emitting a white light directly to an emotional beam up ahead.
About sums up this record, for me at least.
I find Bone Machine wonderful as a whole, so it's hard to single out specific tracks- as you mention something like Murder in the Redbarn or Who Are You, you then remember something great like In the Colosseum or the Keef Richards'assisted closer That Feel. Dirt in the Ground is one of my faves, as is the bluesy Jesus Gonna Be Here- which ideally comes after the almost suicide of The Ocean Doesn't Want Me (which reminds me of Denis Johnson's novel Already Dead for some reason- possibly as Waits is mentioned in that novel!). The best song here for me remains Goin' Out West, which is a major sonic-advance on an earlier song like Heartattack & Vine and was memorably featured in 1999's film Fight Club.
The whole album is great though- Such a Scream sounding like the missing link between Ornette Coleman and Tricky- All Stripped Down the missing link between Captain Beefheart and Mark Lanegan- & Whistle Down the Wind the kind of song that makes you wonder why Nick Cave bothers...
Bone Machine was a highlight of the early 90s and more than stands up now- not much more to say than another classic Tom Waits album....
Most Recent Customer Reviews
not to my liking have heard him use better material but worth it for the price might grow on mePublished 3 months ago by wee wullie winky
Tom Waits is in that strange position of being recognised as a genius but never seems to be discussed alongside other geniuses. Read morePublished 5 months ago by dustspeck
I can only agree with one of the previous reviewers who was surprised this album was not that often reviewed here. It is a real gem - great "night" music. Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2013 by Michal Mical
Others say it in more words, and with more eloquence, but I'd like to say that this is my favorite Waits album. Read morePublished on 16 Aug. 2012 by Johan G
Next to Mule Variations and Rain Dogs, this is my favourite Waits album. It seems almost cheerful in its delivery of dark and disturbing lyrics. Read morePublished on 10 Nov. 2011 by H. Coverley
this came five years after the phenomenal "frank's wild years", the third in a faultless trilogy. the question was, could he maintain that standard? Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2011 by Biffer Spice